During a weekend interview, CNN challenged pro-life Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio on his statement during last weeks Republican debate about posing abortion in cases of rape or incest. The Florida senator didn’t back down from his pro-life position.
Here is the transcript and video of Rubio’s exchange with George Stephanopolis:
STEPHANOPOULOS: “You also got called out by Jeb Bush and Chris Christie on the issue of abortion because you don’t support exceptions for rape and incest. And Jeb Bush also said this to CNN. I want to put that up. He said, “It’s a tough sell to tell a pro-life mother that her daughter has been raped, that she would just have to accept that as a sad fact. This is not an easy decision. But Marco will have to explain that position.” What would you say to — ?”
RUBIO: “Well, a couple things. Number one, abortion to me is not a political issue. It’s a human rights issue. And so if Jeb wants to make it a political issue, that’s his right. For me, it’s not. Number two, I have supported laws that have expectations, the 20-week abortion ban.”[crosstalk]
STEPHANOPOULOS: “— what you believe.”
RUBIO: “Well, first of all, I do require an exception for life of the mother because I’m pro-life. Number two, I — as I’ve said, if they pass a law in Congress that has exceptions, I’ll sign it because I want to save lives. The broader point I’ve made, however, is I believe all human life is worthy of the protection of our laws. That’s what I deeply and personally believe. And I’m not going to change my position on something of — that is so deep in me in order to win an election.”
STEPHANOPOULOS: “So what do you say to that mom, to look her in the eye —”
RUBIO: “It’s a terrible situation. I mean, a crisis pregnancy, especially as a result of something as horrifying as that, I’m not telling you it’s easy. I’m not here saying it’s an easy choice. It is a horrifying thing what you’ve just described. It’s heartbreaking. It is unimaginable, quite frankly. I get it. I really do. And that’s why this issue is so difficult.But I believe a human being, an unborn child, has a right to live irrespective of the circumstances by which they were conceived. But I know that that’s not a majority of Americans don’t agree with me on that. And that is probably — and that’s why any law that limits abortions that passes will almost certainly have exceptions. And I’ll sign it with exceptions. But I personally believe that all human life is worthy of the protection of our laws.”